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Ep 71: Dr. Daniel Hummel on Evangelical Christian Nationalism in the Cold War

The topic of this episode focuses on Dr. Daniel Hummel's piece, “The Limits of Evangelical Christian Nationalism during the Cold War,” which appears in the new book “North American Churches and the Cold War,” out now on Eerdsman Publishing. Dr. Daniel Hummel is a Scholar, writer, researcher, and teacher of religion, politics, and foreign policy in the United States and the modern Middle East. Dr. Hummel is a specialist in the concept of Christian Zionism and has a forthcoming book from the...


Ep 70: "The Devil's Music" w/ Dr. Randall J. Stephens

Randall J. Stephens is an Associate Professor of British and American Studies at the University of Oslo. He previously taught at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, Massachusetts). He is a historian of religion, conservatism, the South, environmentalism, and popular culture. He is the author of The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (Harvard University Press, 2008); The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age,...


Ep 69: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel on Sanctuary and San Francisco Zen Center

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author, Zen priest, teacher, divine seer, artist, and Drum medicine woman. Her work has been featured in Essence Magazine, CNN, CBS NEWS, KPFA Radio, Buddhadharma, and Lion’s Roar. She holds a M.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Transformative Learning from California Institute of Integral Studies. She spoke to me from Green Gulch Farm, a Zen practice center within the San Francisco Zen Center. She is the author of “Sanctuary: A Meditation on Home, Homelessness, and...


Ep 68: High School Religious Studies w/ John Camardella

John Camardella teaches religion and social studies at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois. This conversation touches on the organization, implementation, and day-to-day operations inside a high school course focused on world religions. You can read more about Mr. Camardella here: or on Twitter here:


EP 67: Living With Pain w/ Sarah Anne Shockley

A native of Connecticut, Sarah Anne Shockley is a multiple award winning producer and director of educational films, including Dancing From the Inside Out, a highly acclaimed documentary on disabled dance. She holds an MBA in International Marketing and has worked in high-tech management, as a corporate trainer, and teaching undergraduate and graduate business administration. As the result of a work related injury in the Fall of 2007, Sarah contracted Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and...


Gospel of Mark (BONUS EPISODE)

This bonus episode is a recording of me reading the Gospel of Mark in its entirety. This is meant to serve as a classroom or educational resource. You can find the text I read here:


Ep 66: An Introduction to Shinto with Eric Lancaster

Eric Lancaster is an instructor of Japanese at the University of Missouri and an instructor of religious studies at Columbia College. He is a member of Bunraku Bay Puppet Theatre troupe, whose film, "Kaiju Bunraku," was screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.


Ep 65: Sita's Ramayana with Samhita Arni

Samhita Arni is the author of the NYT Bestselling graphic novel, Sita's Ramayana, (collaboration with Patua artist Moyna Chitrakar) available from Tara Books. She is also the author of The Mahabharata-A Child's View and The Missing Queen. You can find her online here:


Ep 64: Sanctuary Churches and the Role of Christianity with Rev. Sarah Klaassen

Sarah Klaassen is the pastor of Rock Bridge Christian Church in Columbia, Missouri. In September 2017, her church congregation voted to become a sanctuary church and seeks to protect those at risk of deportation. You can read more about her church's decision here: Rock Bridge Christian Church


Ep 63: Why Socrates Died and the Context of Ancient Athens w/ Robin Waterfield

Robin Waterfield is the author of numerous books about ancient Athens including Xenophon's Retreat, Why Socrates Died, Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens, and more. He has also translated the works of Aristotle, Plato, Xenophon, and more from ancient Greek. You can find him online at:


Ep 62: "Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant?" w/ Dr. Preston Jones

This episode is a discussion with Dr. Preston Jones about the book “Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant: A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism, and CHristianity.” Jones is the editor and co-author of the volume with Dr. Greg Graffin, singer for Bad Religion. The book was released in 2006. Dr. Preston Jones is a professor at John Brown University in Arkansas. His research focuses on the American Empire in the period 1898-1917 and the personal experience of...


Ep 61: St. Francis of Assist, Sultan Malik al-Kamil, and the Crusades with Paul Moses

Paul Moses, former Newsday city editor and senior religion writer, is a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He was the lead writer on a Newsday team that won the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of The Saint the Sultan (2009, Doubleday) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (2015, NYU Press). Follow him on Facebook at:


Ep 60: Satanism, feminism, and rock n' roll with Twin Temple

TWIN TEMPLE dwells within a dark legacy of classic American music; from the funeral jazz & Voodoo of New Orleans, to the haunting sounds of Delta blues murder ballads, to the noir-1920’s big band sounds of smoky Prohibition speakeasies. And yet, they inject America's hallowed musical heritage with a surprising blend: gothic romance, Satanic ritual, macabre humor, and brash contemporary topics inspired by the candor of confessional poetry. You can find their work at:...


Ep 59: Middle Eastern Archaeology and the Historical Jesus with Dr. Carrie Duncan

Dr. Carrie Duncan is an Assistant Professor of ancient Mediterranean religions at the University of Missouri. She is a senior staff member on the following projects in Jordan: the Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project, the Petra North Ridge Project, and the Madaba Plains’ excavation. She teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, the Jesus of history, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and more.


Ep 58: Mary Democker on Climate Change, Spirituality, and Parenting

Mary DeMocker is cofounder and creative director of’s Eugene, Oregon, chapter. She has written about conscious parenting and climate activism for the Sun, EcoWatch,, Spirituality & Health, Oregon Quarterly, and the Oregonian. She lives with her family in Eugene, Oregon. You can find her at: and


Ep 57: Dr. Francis Stewart on the Religious Surrogacy of Straight Edge Punk

Dr. Francis Stewart completed her doctoral thesis on punk rock as a surrogate for religion, with a particular emphasis on Straight Edge punk, in 2011 at the University of Stirling. Within the thesis, Stewart examined the notions of community, authenticity, integrity, DIY, and salvation. She also engaged with the connections between music and the expression of emotions, particularly those emotions which are deemed socially 'undesirable' or 'negative'. She also engaged with the question of...


Ep 56: Dr. Michael R. Cohen and "Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era"

Michael R. Cohen is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University, where he holds a Sizeler Professorship. He is the author of the newly published"Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era from NYU Press, as well as The Birth of Conservative Judaism: Solomon Schechter's Disciples and the Creation of an American Religious Movement from Columbia University Press. He earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University.


Ep 55: Dr. Pablo Mendoza on Taoist Practice

Dr. Pablo Mendoza is Assistant to the President for Social Equity at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from the University of Missouri and was previously the Director of the Mizzou Multicultural Center. He has taught Cheng Man-Ch'ing (Zhang Manqing) Yang-style Tai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan). This form is based on martial applied defensive moves that are synchronized to breathing patterns that assist with relaxation and meditation.


Ep 54: Michael Downing on Zen in America, Shunryu Suzuki, and S.F. Zen Center

Michael Downing teaches creative writing at Tufts University. This conversation features a deep dive into Michael’s nonfiction book "Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center, hailed by the New York Review of Books as a 'dramatic and insightful' narrative history of the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia, and by the Los Angeles Times as 'a highly readable book, important for the healing it invites in giving voice to the thoughts and feelings of...


Ep 53: Linda K. Wertheimer and Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance

A veteran journalist, essayist, and award-winning education writer, Linda K. Wertheimer is the author of Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance. Faith Ed, released on Aug. 18, 2015, by Beacon Press, focuses on public schools’ ups and downs as they teach about world religions. See for more information Linda on Twitter: Buy the book: Faith Ed book at Beacon Press